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Skyhawks beat Warriors 27-6

Southridge stays undefeated in Metro League with win over Aloha

BEAVERTON - Southridge figured its Metro League matchup against an Aloha team built around a ferocious defense would be a tough task.

The Skyhawks simply were tougher.

Southridge got physical, handling a stout Aloha defense and churning out yards on the ground in a 27-6 victory Friday night at Southridge High School The Skyhawks rushed for 325 yards and got a very efficient game out of quarterback Tom Farinacci, who was 9 of 11 for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

'We knew Aloha was a very good team: fast, big and strong,' said Farinacci, who also ran for a touchdown. 'Our line was doing a great job. That's how we could be successful.'

Southridge's offensive line did the dirty work in the trenches, consistently pushing the Warriors backward and opening up holes. The Skyhawks stable of backs did the rest, running hard all night in piling up 325 yards on the ground.

'We really control the game well when we run the ball,' said running back Kevin Coleman, who had a team-high 90 yards on 11 carries - all in the second half. 'We knew they'd be tough. We were ready for it.'

Southridge pounded its way to 20 unanswered points after halftime to break open what had been an evenly played first half. The Skyhawks set the tone with a 67-yard drive to start the second half, keeping it on the ground all nine plays. Senior Paul Werhane got the wheels spinning with a 15-yard gain on a trap play.

Farinacci, who ran for 69 yards, cut an option run inside for 14 yards to take Southridge to the Aloha 21. Coleman did the rest, breaking through arm tackles on a 15-yard run then punching it in on the next play when he ran off left tackle and hurdled into the end zone from a yard out.

Mitchell Edwards extra point gave Southridge a 14-6 lead and momentum that never stopped.

'That was huge for us,' Coleman said of the touchdown drive. 'It really set the tone.'

The Skyhawks stuck with the ground game and it resulted in another scoring drive in which Coleman ran five straight times for 41 yards. Southridge switched gears to cap the drive when Farinacci got flushed out the pocket then fired into the end zone where senior receiver Marcus Mathews made a tough catch in traffic for a 13-yard touchdown. Mathews, who also caught a 35-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter, hung on at the front of the end zone despite being immediately hit and spun to the ground.

The Skyhawks closed the scoring on its next possession. Coleman's 23-yard burst took Southridge to the Aloha 7. Two plays later, Farinacci's option run started going the wrong way before he cut through a seam for a 6-yard touchdown scamper.

'They just flat physically beat us,' Aloha coach Chris Casey said. 'We tackled poorly tonight. Maybe that was more them than us. They gained a lot of positive yards after contact.'

Southridge's physical play wasn't limited to the offense, though, as Aloha managed just 44 second-half yards against a hard-hitting Skyhawks' defense. The Warriors ran for 0 yards and completed just 2 of 10 passes after halftime.

Mathews' first touchdown catch gave Southridge a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Aloha responded when quarterback Eric Whitley hit wide receiver Kasey Kroner for a 9-yard touchdown strike. The Warriors marched again on its next drive, but Whitley's pass was intercepted by Southridge's Kellen Mastrud at Skyhawks' 25.

'They were pretty physical with us tonight,' Whitley said. 'They controlled the line of scrimmage.'

Things don't get any easier for Aloha (4-2, 0-2 Metro), which hosts No. 1-ranked Jesuit (6-0, 2-0) next Friday. Southridge plays at Sunset (2-4, 0-2).